Monday, November 7, 2011

My House, It Screams

Last night, I was in a frenzy.  This happens sometimes to me.

Several years ago, I actually was ready to call the gas company because I kept getting dizzy in the kitchen.  Until I realized I didn't have a gas range.  I was spinning -- literally spinning -- in circles in my kitchen.  Putting dishes away.  Cleaning the counters, cooking, checking on kids.  Spinning.  Over and over again.

Yesterday, I was doing basically the same thing, but all through my house.  I cleaned the garage.  I straightened the living room.  The bathroom.  The kitchen.  The hallway.

Why do I do this?

Because my house screams.

When there's too much audio stimulation, I feel jangled.  I can practically physically feel it.  For a person who makes her living by playing and teaching music, this is a bit of an inconvenience.  There are some kinds of music I just can't handle because of the intense jangling.  Metal.  Percussion on a large scale.  Some kinds of jazz.  It's like being attacked by sound.

I have realized that I can hear (with my mental, emotional ear) visual clutter.  There are reasons that my bedroom is done in white on white, with maybe touches of sea-green.  I need silence sometimes.  It's really very much like turning down the volume on a radio.

So, when I look into the back yard, I hear the hose yelling, "HEY! I'm still HERE!  You need to put me awaaaay!"
In the bathroom?  "I'm an empty toilet paper tube!  I'm collecting germs and hair behind the toilet!"
The living room chatters. "Candy Wrapper!  Right here!  HAHAHA!" "Dog fur!  Aaalll around the edges of the rooom!" "NEWSPAPERS! NEWSPAPERS! NEWSPAPERS!" "Hey.  we're a stash of dirty socks.  bet you can't find us!'

Hallway.  "Towel! Right here! Maybe getting moldy!' "ONE shoe.  I don't know where my twin is. Sorry. NOT!" "Dirrrrt smeared on the wall!  Think of the germs!"

Get the idea?

Now, think of what it's like when you're holding a tiny baby.  One who is constantly, incessantly crying.  Screaming.  You pace.  You pat.  You cajole, sing, plead.  If you thought it would help, you'd stand with the baby in the shower.  You'd sit on the dryer.  You'd sing "Copacabana" in Swedish.  You'll do ANYTHING to get this baby to chill out and be quiet and happy and smiling.  Or better, sleeping.

You'd spin in circles, doingdoingdoing anything at all.

I want to get my house to stop crying, to stop screaming.  So I cajole.  I scold.  I yell and pat and futz and snuggle and thwack and dust and vacuum and wash and scrub and brush.

And still it yells at me.  There's never a moment of absolute serenity.  It murmurs.  It whines and whimpers. It coughs, clears its throat.  It shifts, twitches, grunts.

So yesterday, after an afternoon of flailing and whatnot, I decided to go to bed.  I ascended my stairs, ignoring the whispers of the clothes on the floor, the dust in the corners, and got into my white-on-white bed.  I looked at my white-on-white textured walls.  I glanced at my sea-blue drapes.  I sighed and enjoyed the quiet.

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